American Clay Workshops – Take it From The Pro- It’s Always Worth it!
American Clay Earth Plaster is a very user-friendly product. You don’t have a time crunch as with lime plasters to consider, it’s healthy to be around, and it’s a pleasant natural product to work with. May we suggest however, that if you involve yourself in an informative (and fun) workshop the learning curve becomes even smoooooother!
Your may find that your clay stays on the hawk better, you’re likely to have a better feel for the ideal thickness of each layer, you’ll know how to approach working corners and edges, and you’ll learn from others in the group. Did I mention- the coffee is great too?!
Everyone is welcome- from novice to professionals and it is affordable! Like with any new product the sharing process between everyone, (and this most certainly includes professionals in some type of finish application trade), – we learn from each other and lots of questions get answered.
Jim Erskine, instructor of the classes held at The ARCH in Asheville, is an “American Clay trained applicator” as well as a mason by trade. He has applied well over 50,000sf of clay and in many different settings. With more than a bit of experience he has had his share of trouble shooting which makes for a great instructor as he’s likely to have more answers for all kinds of applications. (Always helpful).
Jim’s experience doesn’t come from just a single large job- he has worked with and learned from a wide variety of applications such as: all kinds of homes, commercial spaces, historical homes, bathroom ceilings, conference room walls, educational facilities, high walls, tight spaces, stairwells, wine cellars, kitchens, new construction, old construction, chimney chases, applications over brick, over block, over repaired plaster, over dry wall, over Hempcrete, along stone edges, on curvy walls, from rustic settings to contemporary, for happy-go-lucky customers to the more “selective” customer- and the list goes on. He’s worked solo, with other applicators, teamed up with customers or other professionals.
For several years The ARCH has held morning workshops once a month. The half-day workshop is great to learn all the basics, better understand the products, get your hands into it, gain a little extra confidence, and it’s an opportunity to ask a LOT of questions. Most of all participants develop a passion and understanding for clay as a fabulous wall finish. It lasts, it’s breathing, it’s healthy, it feels good, it contributes to LEED points, and it has DEPTH! (My favorite descriptive word is DEPTH!) unlike flat finishes such as paint, clay has a depth. Paint has no “doorway of interest” like clay. In the workshop Jim discusses the different clay types, the new products including Up& EZ which, when added to the clay, can be rolled on and troweled out, he shares examples of samples and walls within the showroom, demonstrates the walls within the showroom, demonstrates the mixing process of the clay and pigment, demonstrates trowel use, how to get a nice consistency with the clay, and much more.
Finally there’s time to play with different finishes and techniques. It’s an easy going product! Easy to apply, pleasant to be around, great to live with.
A customer was in the other day that had taken a class a couple of years ago and is about to begin a second home project with an artistic lime putty wash finish. He shared that he occasionally goes around misting his walls with a fine mist of water just to smell the wonderful earthy aroma that when hydrated slightly will evaporate right back into the air. Oops, he “overshot spraying his plants” – just a pleasant reminder to do it again! Ah, a guy that uses all of his senses.